Defensive back Stephon Gilmore, who signed a five-year, $65 million deal with the team in March, tangled with wide receiver and fan favorite Julian Edelman, resulting in the ejection of both players from Tuesday morning’s practice session…
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a non-negotiable practice rule: No fights. If you do fight, you are ejected.
I like it. Would a team with a Super Bowl hangover get this fired up in practice less than a week into training camp? I don’t think so.
In one corner you’ve got Julian Edelman, the scrappy 7th round draft pick who played his college ball as a QB in the MAC. Two Super Bowl rings haven’t tamed his drive. The 232nd overall pick didn’t make the team, and stay on the team for eight years, without some serious dedication and drive.
In the other corner you’ve got Stephon Gilmore, the new guy who signed a $65 million deal with the Patriots in March. The former first-round pick made his first Pro Bowl last year and is known for his physical play.
According to Mike Reiss’s story:
[T]he fiery wide receiver took exception to Gilmore’s physical play and wrestled him to the ground before coaches and teammates separated the two.
Both players’ helmets were off by the end of the scuffle.
It’s understandable that two guys like this would get into a training-camp scuffle. The scrappy vet versus the physical new guy. I don’t think it’s an issue. I think it’s great to see that Edelman, 31, isn’t slowing down or backing down, and that Gilmore isn’t taking crap from anyone. He might take some 15 yard penalties in the fall, but that’s okay every once in a while.
The Patriots have been so good for so long, it seems like training camp often comes and goes without anything notable happening. I’m hopeful that this is a good sign that this team is still hungry, and will be ready to roll on September 7.